Parents Who Make YouTube Videos Mocking Their Children Aren’t Funny

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 9.43.59 AMDid Jimmy Kimmel start this trend of exasperating/embarrassing children and then taping it for all of us to laugh at? I don’t know who started it – but it has got to stop. Seriously, people – what is wrong with you?

The latest installment of “I am going to publicly humiliate my child for laughs” comes courtesy of Paula Papen, a mother who convinces her son that he purchased a $50,000 car on eBay. She’s heard giggling in the background while her 8-year-old weeps and says things like, “I’m horrible.” It’s hilarious.

Social media has enabled even the dumbest snippets of video to go viral. Viral videos actually make money. YouTube pays $2 for every 1,000 hits a video gets. So far this video has over 485,000 hits. So presumably, this woman has made almost $1000 for tormenting her child. Great. I don’t know why I’ve chosen a career in freelance writing. This is clearly an easier way to make money.

Maybe this child is a total pain in the neck who has on several occasions come very close to making major purchases on eBay? That is my best guess as to why his mother would do this. But wouldn’t it be more effective to, I don’t know, maybe not let him have access to your passwords? Aren’t parental blocks a thing?

I guess I just don’t understand how publicly humiliating our children is teaching them how to be better. If anything, it’s teaching them how to be annoying bullies who make fun of people. Is that the kind of behavior we should be modeling for our children? It doesn’t make sense. I’d like to ask this mother what is going to happen when her child starts pulling annoying pranks on other kids. It got her loads of attention and probably even made her some money. Why wouldn’t he want to emulate that behavior?

I’m all for fun and laughs, but I think parents like these may be unwittingly creating little monsters.

(photo: YouTube/ Paula Papen)

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You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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  • Victoria

    Word! I’m glad it wasn’t the trend when I was a kid. My sisters and I bawled for hours after our mom told us, the day before a trip to Disneyland (we were really poor and had never gone on vacation before) that they’d changed their minds about taking us. She thought it was hysterical. :T

    • Guerrilla Mom

      Ouch. That is horrible.

  • Samantha

    I wish you wouldn’t embed or link to the video. We who agree with you don’t want to see it anyway, and you are otherwise enabling this mean girl mom by getting her more hits.

    • Frances Bean

      I’m guessing Maria didn’t choose to link to it, I know they have editors who make these types of decisions. I agree with you 100%, but I’ve been reading Maria for ages and it doesn’t seem like part of her M.O.

    • Guerrilla Mom

      Sorry – agree with you but hard to write a story about it without linking to it in some way. I guess I could have made it an external link, but it would have done the same thing.

  • Frances Bean

    So true. I am so happy this type of thing didn’t exist in my day because my family would have had a field day!

    • Guerrilla Mom

      I’m thinking my older brothers and sisters would have abused this more than my parents… in any case, thank god this technology didn’t exist back then.

  • LiteBrite

    I guess I don’t understand the point of intentionally humiliating your kids. Then again, I refuse to watch the video and give this mom more money, so maybe I’m missing something.

  • Blueathena623

    Dear god, this stuff makes my blood boil. As someone who works in IT and takes the Internet very seriously — people, the Internet is forever. And it doesn’t take much to put together a web profile of someone. So Paula, I’m glad you feel comfortable that your son’s future friends will see this (perfect fodder for bullies)! And the people deciding on his college admissions. And future significant others. And future employers. Because its stupid to think that these people won’t do searches and its incredibly stupid to think that videos like this won’t influence people. Even if he’s just a child, you can’t help but be influenced by what you know about a person.

  • katydid0605

    i agree this stuff is horrible, i cant even watch it. just the little boys upset face on the freeze frame turns my stomach. I have a 6 year old little boy and i hate to see him upset, i could never do it on purpose.

  • Bran Chesterton

    Okay, trying to scare your kids or filming them crying for laughs just isn’t nice. But telling your kid you ate all his halloween candy and filming the reaction CAN be funny… it’s only halloween candy, and the funny thing about the videos is relating to how attached kids are to their candy (since we were all there!) and seeing their shock when their parents ate ALL of it!

    There are cruel pranks, and then there are funny pranks.

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